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Court halts Biden vaccine, testing mandate for businesses

Posted at 12:23 PM, Nov 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-06 18:20:49-04

SALT LAKE CITY — A federal appeals court temporarily halted the Biden administration's occupational safety rule that required businesses with over 100 employees to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine or regular testing.

In a ruling on Saturday, a three judge panel at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals granted a stay sought by Texas, Utah, Mississippi and South Carolina, as well as businesses who claimed they would be negatively impacted.

"Because the petitions give cause to believe there are grave statutory and constitutional issues with the Mandate, the Mandate is hereby STAYED pending further action by this court," the judges wrote, ordering lawyers for the states and the federal government to submit further briefing by next week.

The rule was not going into effect until January.

"Citizens of Utah can take courage that their elected leaders have confronted this unprecedented expansion of presidential power with a united front and that the courts are paying attention," Utah Attorney General Reyes said in a statement. "While today’s victory is important, we look forward to further argument, litigation, and legislative action on all fronts to protect the constitutional liberties of our citizens."

Utah political leaders have argued the government using OSHA rules to mandate vaccinations is unconstitutional. Governor Spencer Cox told FOX 13 earlier this week Utah would sue over it.

"I am grateful our courts recognize the egregious overreach from the Biden administration into the personal health decisions of citizens and that businesses won’t be forced to enforce this unconstitutional rule," House Speaker Brad Wilson, R-Kaysville, said to FOX 13 in a text message.

Senate President J. Stuart Adams, R-Layton, acknowledged it was temporary, but was pleased.

"I’m pleased the 5th Circuit Court saw the constitutional problems with this unprecedented expansion of presidential power. While this stay is a significant temporary victory, our state will continue to fight to protect the constitutional liberties of our citizens," he said.

Read the court's ruling here: